Afropunk

Afro: Born of African Spirit and Heritage, see also black (not always), see also rhythm and color, see also other, underdog. Punk: as in rebel, opposing the simple route, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and curiosity, see also other, underdog. Afropunk, as in where I ended up on New Year’s Eve in Johannesburg, South Africa. Clearly, more along the punk lines than the afro, nevertheless, I randomly wandered into this music festival with curiosity. Continue reading “Afropunk”

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Water

From the Midwest, to the mountains of Zürich, the rough streets of Johannesburg, to my final destination: picturesque Cape Town, South Africa. How silly of me to think it would be as it was before. The mountains still stand, clouds rolling over the top of Table Mountain like waves, the lively streets are the same, the familiar shops greet me, but it’s different. I’m different. I play my own movies of what was, feelings of another time, I know this change, in fact I’m aware enough to expect it, but now I feel it. Continue reading “Water”

Malagasy Market

Tsis, misoatra. No, thank you. I don’t want to buy, just look. To feel another culture, to wonder around the market as if I belonged there, as if I lived there and needed something. Hands reach out to me as I navigate the market aisles in an old cement warehouse, offering me spices, perfume, fruits. Tsis misoatra. I smell the perfume in homemade plastic bottles, the spices – vanilla, fresh from Madagascar. A room full of bright colors, life, smells of spices, sweat, fish, incense captivates me. A women sits on the floor staring into her daydream, a pile of greenish oranges splayed out next to her on a cloth. What are her dreams?  Continue reading “Malagasy Market”

Nosy Nights

I hesitate at the waters edge. Warm salty water sneaks up on my feet and threatens to soak my pants as I contemplate my next step onto the boat waiting for me. Trying to stay dry is challenging on this island, and I clearly picked the wrong outfit (pants jumpsuit) to go out in high tide tonight. Strong arms scoop me up, resolving my dilemma and effortlessly carry me onto the boat, setting me down among the locals en route to Ampang. High tide carries us quickly to the island village and I jump off the boat as the tides pulls back, running to shore, heading to meet my friends for some music – the only thing to do on weekend night in Nosy Komba.  Continue reading “Nosy Nights”

Tsingy

A rust colored dirt path leads me to the rock formations I’ve been so determined to see- Tsingy. Tsingy means to walk on tiptoes and it’s been said that Malagasy people crossed these jagged pointed rocks on their tiptoes (no idea if that’s true). I’ve spent a few sleepless nights googling these limestone pillars that point up to the sky and now I’m just a few kilometers from them.

Continue reading “Tsingy”

Taxi Brousse

“Boat!” is called out just after dawn as I head down to the beach to catch the daily boat en route to Nosy Be. After a pleasant 40 minute ride, we arrive in the port and wade through oily water to get some breakfast before our long journey to the amazing tsingy rocks in Ankarana, on the mainland of Madagascar. Continue reading “Taxi Brousse”

Wild Lemurs

My morning starts just after dawn before the bright Madagascar sun begins to bake the forests and radiate heat off the calm ocean water. I sleepily pull on my hiking boots and start hiking through the cool misty forests, climbing rock boulders, jumping over mud puddles, pulling myself up with vines, heading to the top of the lush volcanic island to watch wild lemurs. Continue reading “Wild Lemurs”